Balance. It’s something all of us wish to achieve, but it can seem nearly impossible to find. After all, if you have a busy work schedule that takes up most of your day, how do you find time for exercise? When do you fit in family and friends? How can you focus on your personal goals?
While attempting to find a balance can seem overwhelming at first glance, it is far from impossible. Take Sami Rusani, for example. As a serial entrepreneur, Rusani currently works as Chief Revenue Officer of ShipChain, a blockchain-powered logistics startup. Prior to that, he founded Pure Rock Media Group, where he worked with artists and brands like Mercedes, Heineken, VISA and more.
Where does Rusani find time for all this, and how does he manage to maintain balance in his endeavors? Here’s a closer look at some of the lessons you can learn from his experiences.
The Power of Boundaries
Typically, when the topic of setting boundaries is discussed in relation to work-life balance, the focus tends to be on “leaving work at work.” But as Rusani is quick to note, setting boundaries has to have greater application than that.
“You need to be 100 percent focused on what you’re currently doing,” he says. “When I’m working with ShipChain, I need to be fully invested in ShipChain. When I was working with my other startups, I needed to be fully invested in them. The same is true of exercise, time with friends, or working on a hobby. I do a much better job when I give each of these things the attention they deserve.”
Compartmentalizing the different aspects of your life can be challenging, but this is essential for keeping work from bleeding over into your free time or vice versa. Such boundaries will help you be more productive and feel more satisfied with how you spend your time.
As useful as our smartphones can be, they can also pose a real threat to our personal time. Apps and messaging can make it tempting to always be available for work-related tasks. This makes it all too easy to get burned out. Constant connectivity has already been linked to depression in teenagers, and your smartphone is likely contributing to some stress and anxiety in your life, too.
“You have to make an active decision to disconnect from time to time,” Rusani explains. “Whether you turn off your phone or block certain apps outside of work hours, you have to take control of your technology usage. Otherwise, your phone controls you, and you’ll have a hard time finding any kind of healthy balance in life.”
“As chief revenue officer, I have a lot of responsibility on my plate,” notes Rusani. “But that doesn’t mean I have to do everything myself. I’m surrounded by talented people, and delegating and using their talents helps all of us get better results.”
While you may not necessarily be in a position where you can delegate tasks at work, there are still plenty of ways you can reduce your stress by delegating certain aspects of your life. There are apps for almost any daily task you can imagine, from setting exercise reminders to organizing coupons for grocery shopping.
Whether you ask a co-worker to help you out with a big project or use a smartphone app to simplify your chores at home, being willing to delegate is one of the best ways to increase productivity and find more time for yourself.
“If you’re doing something you truly love, you won’t feel like you’re too busy,” Rusani says. “I enjoy what I do for a living, and this makes it so much easier to stay motivated and enthusiastic, even when things get hectic. But when I feel like I need a break, I’m going to take that break.”
Choosing to prioritize the things that bring you joy will go a long way in helping you feel like you have the right balance in your life. Living a balanced life doesn’t mean that each area gets an equal amount of time and attention. It means managing your different responsibilities in a way that leaves you satisfied, not stressed.
If you’re really excited about a project, you may have the energy and drive to work more than 40 hours in a particular week. But if you’re feeling stressed and overworked, you shouldn’t be afraid to take a bit of extra personal time. Your exact balance will undoubtedly vary from week to week, but by choosing activities that help you find personal fulfillment, you’ll always feel like you have the proper balance.
Finding the Ideal Balance
Achieving and maintaining a good work-life balance isn’t always easy. It requires a proactive approach to how you manage your time, and it may require that you change a few of your lifestyle habits. But as you make a conscious effort to avoid overworking yourself, you’ll reduce your risk of burnout and increase your productivity. Most importantly, you’ll be happier and more satisfied with your life.